Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28, 2012

I love bags of all kinds.  I am forever searching out patterns to make them.  Here is a Schlep bag that is fun to make, as well as use.  In this picture there are four bags.  The two large ones on each end are full of "treasures", which my family calls trash or junk.  Here is the website where I found the free pattern.   Take time to look around Gayle's site, she has some beautiful antique quilt patterns there.

For these bags, I used denim fabric for the bottoms.  Cotton doesn't wear well and since the bottom of the bags are what gets the most abuse, I wanted a fabric that could take it.  I like all my bags to be quilted. Some of the squares on these bags are of pre-quilted fabrics, and some I quilted myself.  I also padded the handles  with batting.  The next time I make this pattern, I will put something in the handles that will give them a bit of stiffness, for I find that the handles curl instead of staying flat when used.  Of course all  my bags are lined.  I like all my projects to have that "finished" look.

The size of this bag is controlled by the size of the square you start with.  I have seen some of these bags made with pieced blocks instead of the plain squares. These bags are open at the top and sometimes I don't like the bag to be opened to where I can lose items.  I am kind of toying around with the idea of adding a piece of additional fabric to the top of the bag with a draw string so I can close the top.

I have plans on making more of these for I seem to never have enough bags.  But then, if I would finish my projects instead of starting more, I would already have more than enough bags, but what fun is that?

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 27, 2012

Today I want to show some quicker projects I have made.  These items only took a few hours to make and made me feel happy.

This little crocheted angel was made for a friend, who was going through chemo therapy.  I wanted her to remember that I was thinking and praying for her.  You can find tons of crocheted angel patterns by running a web search.  I was astounded by how many are out there.  Here is the website where I found this pattern, it is a free download.

I  had some left over washable wool and wanted a sleeve for my water bottle.  This one works out well, and holds the moisture when the bottle sweats.  Most sleeves are just that, a sleeve, this one is more like a sock, for it has a bottom to it.  This is knitted.

I love this Christmas stocking.  Several years ago, a friend gave to me a half yard of this lovely fabric.  I just knew it had to be used for something "special".  One Christmas, I entered a swap where we were to make a sock and then stuff it full of small gifts.  This is the twin to the sock I sent.

This fabric has glitz on it in silver.  I padded the sock with batting, quilted it with a decorative stitch on my sewing machine, using a thread with a sheen.  The lace around the cuff is what I had left over from a robe that I made for myself.  I lined the sock with some white, medium weight, drapery lining fabric, to help keep the sock shape.

I hope that you enjoy today's post.  Till next time.................

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24, 2012

This card is one of my most precious treasures.  Several years ago, fabric postcards were the rage.  Never in my whole life did I dream of ever receiving one.  I belonged to a list where they practiced Random Act of Kindness.  One of the list members, who was living in Germany, made and sent this to me as a RAK.

If you are interested in making some of your own, do a search for Fabric Postcards and you will come up with several websites that give you the directions on how to make them, as well as, pictures of postcards for ideas.  There are also books for sale on the subject.

Along this line are ATC cards.  ATC are the initials standing for Artist Trading Cards.  You can go here and read an article about those.   I always thought ATC cards would be fun to do, but a bit small. I think that the post card size would give me more area to do fabric art.  I thought that it would be fun to make these smaller pieces to try out new techniques without having a huge amount of time or materials invested.  If I made them 4x6, the finished project would  fit into a photo album.  People who collect and make the ATC cards, use the sport card albums to store their treasures in.  There are many who swap the cards like baseball cards are swapped. 

I will have to try out the ATC card size, which is 2-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches, and the postcard size to see which size I like working with the best.  Or, depending upon the technique, I could do both sizes, choosing which would work best for what I want to try to do.

I guess you know what I will be thinking about for the rest of this day.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 22, 2012

This quilt is a doll quilt which is 40 years old.  My friend was in her 80s when she started this doll quilt for my daughter.  My friend started this as a hand piecing project but before she was able to finish it, she was having problems with her eyes.  So, she gave it to me to finish.  I never got around to finishing it when my daughter was playing with dolls, in fact, it was just finished about five years ago.  I finished it off with machine piecing and machine quilting.  I am not sure where this little quilt is, if I still own it or if I gave it to my daughter.  If I still have it, it will be unearthed as I deep clean the house.

This quilt is just plain ugly.  This is a stamped, cross stitch , Bucilla kit.  I whiled away the hours cross stitching this quilt while my husband was recovering from open heart surgery.  I just didn't like the colors chosen for this piece.  I machine quilted it and gave it to my daughter who gifted it for a baby gift.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 21, 2012

This sampler quilt was made a few years ago through a Block of the Month program, which was held at my local quilt shop.  At the beginning of the program, we were given fabric and a pattern for one block.  At the next monthly meeting, if our block was all sewn, we would receive the next block fabric and pattern, free.  If we didn't have the block sewn, we would have to pay to get the block for that month.  I love this quilt, all black, white and grey with just the touch of red.   This quilt was machine quilted.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19, 2012

Both of these wall quilts are pre-printed panels which I  hand quilted.  The one with the boy, I might go back and quilt a bit more, for I like my things heavily quilted.  I was in a hurry to get it hung before Thanksgiving one year, so did just what I had time to do.  The girl sweeping the snow is my favorite.  I did quilt that heavily. 

The boy quilt I hang from October to December 1.  The girl quilt I hang after New Year and keep it up through March, then I switch it out for a spring hanging.

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16, 2012

I made this tree skirt for my daughter.  The pattern was a free leaflet from a fabric store that closed about 35 years ago.  A long time ago, I found this pattern on the net, but I don't know what the pattern is called so that you can hunt it down.  Since it is just stars and square blocks with triangles on the four corners, it wouldn't be too hard to draft out to the size you would like your tree skirt to be.  Or even substitute some other block you would like for the stars.  I don't have the skirt any longer, so I can't measure out the squares for you to know what size these are.

I am thinking of making another in generic fabrics to use on my dinette table.  Of course, not cutting the hole in the center.  I think it would look very nice with a vase of flowers in the center, or a bowl of fruit.  Maybe use some other block instead of the stars.  How would it look in red, white and blue for the fourth of July?  Now if I can just find the pattern in all my stacks of clutter.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15, 2012

Kimono quilt

When making this quilt, I used the pattern called: the Disappearing Nine Patch.  About two years ago, this quilt was the rage because they are fun and fast quilts to do.  Here is one of many websites that give tutorials, as well as YouTube videos. 

I started out with 4-1/2 inch cut squares of an oriental print. I wanted the print to be framed in white, so here is how I arranged the patches to be sewn.
Row 1:  print – white- print,
Row 2: white – print – white,
Row 3:  print – white- print. 
This gave me a print patch, sashed on two sides in white, with a corner square of the print that was so small that it looked different than the large print squares.

I used 4-1/2 cut size squares, but you can make your cut squares any size you wish.  You also don’t need to have a controlled fabric.  I am presently working on a Disappearing Nine Patch as a scrappy quilt.  There are other design layouts that you can do by playing with the arrangement of the blocks, the one shown in the tutorial is just one of many. 

Here is a website where the woman did a cut block in a different way.  Dividing of sewn blocks opens a whole new world of design.
Do a search of your own on The Disappearing Nine Patch and see what more you can come up with.

I hand quilted this quilt in the ditch.  I always use white or off-white muslin, in either plain or a white on white or cream on cream print, when I hand quilt.  When I put that much work into a quilt, I make sure that I can see the stitching when done. 

This pattern so intrigues me that I have been thinking of other ways to make the quilt.  Why not embroider designs in the uncut squares?  Or, make 4-1/2 inch blocks and use those for the uncut squares? With either one, I would end up with a focus block already sashed with a corner stone.   I am also playing with the idea of using other nine patch type blocks and cutting them to see what kind of other designs I could come up with.  One of these days I will go into my EQ7 and play around with the nine patch blocks to see what will work. 

Here is another picture of my Remington lying on a quilt.  All my quilts are Remington magnets.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

January 13, 2012

Here are some coasters that I have crocheted.  The pattern is on the internet as a PDF but I couldn't find it right off.  When I do find the pattern, I will come back to this post and put in the link. 

I crocheted these using Sugar and Cream in an off white.


I was going through some of my pet pictures and came across this one of Remington sleeping on a quilt that I was hand quilting.  I thought he was cute.  That boy loves quilts.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12, 2012

Today I thought of showing you this wall hanging.  A friend of mine took an apple-core template, and wondered how the pieces would go together if she substituted straight lines for the curves.  She then cut out all the fabrics but never got around to putting the project together. She gave it all to me and I hand pieced the patches together and then appliqued the outer edges to a black fabric border.  I also hand quilted this piece by quilting in the ditch.   I like this wall hanging a lot.  The name of the piece was named by my friend, "Idiots Delight".

I just had to share this picture of my Prue with you.  She makes me laugh each time I see her sitting this way.  She is the first cat that I have had that has done this.  I hope that she gives you a laugh as well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In the year of 2008, Northcott fabrics company did a series of fabric of a flower for each month of the year.  They designed patterns for each month using the flower for that month, or you could get the pattern for the quilt with all twelve months.  This is the Water Lily flower for the month of July.  I bought the kit and put it together for my birthday, which is in July.  I have had this wall hanging for a number of years, and I have yet to hang it on my birthday month.

I machine quilted this wall hanging with an all over rambling, free motion design, of my own imagination.

A Yahoo search results in showing that some kits for the wall hangings, as well as the flower fabric in yardage, is still available for purchase.

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9, 2012

This quilt is a scrappy quilt.  I took an online class with a group where the lesson we were to learn  was to loosen up in our quilting.  We cut our strips, placed them in a paper bag, then we picked the fabrics to be sewn together by pulling, sight unseen, from the bag.  The only time we could toss the strip back into the bag, is if we already had that strip sewn.  We made several strip combinations of not more than seven strips sewn together.  We then proceeded to cut the strips using the 45 degree angle on our rulers, which made a strip of diamonds.  We then laid the cut strips out so that no two alike pieces were side by side.  It was really a lot of fun and I will say, this quilt is one of my favorites.  I can look at the fabrics and remember what I made from each piece.  Many of the fabrics were scraps from clothing I made for my kids and myself.  Even found a couple of pieces from shirts that I made for my husband. 

I machine quilted the diamonds by quilting in the ditch and the black outside border, was machine quilted with a cable design.

This exercise was very good for me, for I find it hard to be spontaneous in my work.  I am too rigid.  Give this method a try sometime, it isn't as easy as it sounds, for the temptation is there to find a matching strip to the fabric already in hand.  It was very hard for me to sew two strips together that looked horrible together.  But just see how pretty the quilt turned out in the end.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Juanary 8, 2012

It took many years to get these pillowcases finished.  I started embroidering them before my daughter was born and when she came, I was too busy taking care of her to do much needlework.  I put them aside for a number of years.  My daughter got to be a teenager when they were unearthed once more and she liked them so much, that I told her that if she finished the embroidery, I would give them to her.  So, she worked on the embroidery and got them done.  Then they were put away for a number of years until I got brave enough to work with the fine crochet thread to crochet the skirts and edging.  All told, it probably took 25 years before these pillowcases were done so that they could be used. I wrapped them and gave them to my daughter for a Christmas present about five years ago.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

January 7, 2012

This is an English  Paper Piecing project which was a class mystery quilt given on the CDdesigns website.  You can purchase the pattern and the paper pieces needed to complete the topper at this URL.

  Here is where you can see a gallery of pictures of the topper done by others who did the class.

Since I feel that sewn seams are stronger than joining by English Paper Piecing, I had the brainy idea to trace around all 184 paper pieces and add the 1/4 inch seam.  I then stitched them together.  Believe me, it wasn't one of my best ideas.  I had to press open each seam that I sewed, which was tedious. Some of those pieces were very small and hard to manage to press without burning my fingers.

I hand quilted this topper by hand quilting in  the ditch.

At some point in time I will make another of these toppers, for I do like the pattern.  This one was done in Christmas fabrics, for it was right before Christmas when the class was given, so my amount of time to use it on my table is limited.  The next time, I will do the  English Paper Piecing method instead of seaming it.

That is it for today.  Enjoy

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6, 2012

This doily is a Jack Dempsey pre-printed embroidery piece.  It came in a package of two.  I had a friend who loved anything purple, so I embroidered one for her and one for me.  When we used them, we would remember our friendship.  My friend passed away two years ago this spring from ovarian cancer.

The colors used were the ones that the Jack Dempsey Company had suggested. The design is still available for purchase.  I like this company and I have bought several of their designs.  Later I will post some of the quilt blocks that I had embroidered over the years that still need to be sewn into quilt tops.

This is it for today

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January 5, 2012

January 5, 2012

Today I would like to share with you a wall hanging that I finished in the spring of 2011.  This is a counted cross-stitch design, which was taken from a free chart found on the Internet.  Unfortunately, the URL didn’t print out when I printed the chart and I have no idea as to where the chart is located.  There are many pictures of this chart stitched in different ways on the Internet.  Many of them stitched on linen, which to date, I have not been able to do.

The thread I used on this piece is a bit un-ordinary for this type of work.  I wanted the piece to be stitched all in one color but didn’t have enough thread on hand of any one color.  Since it was snowing and nasty outside, I decided to use what I had on hand.  I had plenty of crochet thread, so I was curious to see what it would be like to cross stitch with such thread.  I have no idea as to what the color number is, but the thread used is a knit cro-sheen in a variegated dark purple.  

The main thing I learned was to not pull the stitches too tight.  The crochet thread doesn’t bloom to fill in the holes of the Aida cloth like the embroidery thread does.  When the threads are pulled to tight, the background shows through way too much.

Once the piece was done, I wanted a way to display it without framing.  I only have so much wall space in the house and that is broken up with windows.  I also wanted to be able to change my work out for the different seasons and holidays.  Being able to store the piece once off the wall was also going to be a problem, for this house wasn’t built with much storage area.  Framing the piece in fabric was the way to go.

Since the crochet thread was stiff and I wanted to be sure to anchor the thread ends so that they wouldn’t pull out if I happened to get one not anchored tight enough, I backed the piece with a batting that had glue on it.  The next one that I do, will first be backed with lightweight interfacing and then use the batting with the glue.  The glue on the batting didn’t want to adhere to the back of the Aida cloth.  I figure that the interfacing ironed on first, will give the glue on the batting a better surface to adhere too.  Interfacing is meant to adhere to all kinds of fabrics, so should form a tight bond with the Aida cloth.

After pressing the batting to the back of the Aida cloth, I took white sewing thread and carefully, so it wouldn’t show, tacked the Aida cloth to the batting through the Aida cloth and batting only.  Once the tacking was done, I quilted around the purple fabric edges through the batting and backing, and then turned the piece over and quilted the center backing fabric to the batting only.  So far the piece is holding well, but I still can see where the batting is pulling away from the Aida cloth, but the tacking to the batting is holding the piece together the way I want it.

Will I use Knit Cro-sheen thread again for cross-stitching?  Yes, it was fun to use and I like the sharp, crisp look of the piece.  I think that would be just the thread to use on pieces that will receive heavy and hard wear.  I also liked using the variegated color because it added more interest to the piece and I was always surprised the way a motif or symbol turned out, totally unplanned in the color variation. Because of not having control of the coloring, it was always exciting to start the next motif.   Of course there are some pieces where you would like to have the soft look of embroidery thread.  In fact, most pieces you would like to have the soft look.  But, if you  are looking for something a bit different, give Knit Cro-sheen a try.

This is it for today. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4, 2012

This is the first posting on the blog.  It has taken me a long time to think of a name, for I do so many things, that it is was hard to zero in on one thing., so Peaceful Pastimes was chosen because I have many pastimes and I find peace when doing them.  Variety is the spice of life, so you will never know what I will be writing about  on any given day.

The first thing I would like to do, is to introduce you to my fur babies. The first one's name is Remington.
I found him 15 years ago under my back porch and almost starved.  He is my quilting buddy.  He watches me while I cut fabrics and  helps me choose fabrics.  If he likes my choice, he will roll all over the fabrics, if he doesn't like what I have chosen, he will mess them up or try to crawl under them.

When I do a quilt layout, if he doesn't like what I have done, he will carry off the blocks.  Again if he likes what I have done, he will show his pleasure by rolling all over them.  He is always correct and I listen to him with each quilt I make.  When I hand quilt, he likes to crawl under the lap frame and sleep on my lap while I am working.  He also likes to ride on shoulders, which drives my husband nuts.  Remington is also my watchdog and protector. He lets me know when someone is approaching the house and he will fight anyone who touches my stuff.   He likes being held while I am at the computer, which makes typing a bit hard at times.

My next kitty is my Victorian Kitty.  Her name is Prudence.  She is now 11 years old.  She had been abused
by some boys and was rescued.  Prue is my kitty who keeps me company when I am doing knitting or embroidery work, or any other kind of hand work where I sit  on a  chair or couch.  She has not taken to quilting and never shows up when I am doing that.  Prue will nestle beside me and will tell me when it is time to take a break or stop.  During the day, she is my husband's cat, but during the evening, she is all mine.

Prue has her own place beside me on the bed where she likes to sleep.  She gets angry with me if I don't make room for her to sleep in that spot.  She is a biter when displeased, but over the years, she is learning to trust us that we won't hurt her, so the biting is now rare for her to do.  Prue is the scared cat of the three.  Anyone comes to the door, will make her run and hide.  She will disappear until the people are gone.

 This kitty is named Goldie. She is also 11 years old.  My daughter adopted her from a shelter, but her cats wouldn't let Goldie in the house, so I became a foster parent, 10 years ago.  She is the loving kitty.  She loves everyone who comes into the house and loves to play.

Goldie gets upset whenever we go away.  We are always met at the door and scolded for leaving the house.  If we work in the yard, she will sit by the window and wail until we come in.  Then she will scold us for going out the door.  She is also a talking cat, which about drives me nuts at times.  My daughter's red cat also talks a lot, so I am thinking that is something that red cats do.

Goldie likes to sleep on top of me at night or on the headboard of our bed.  She also likes to walk on us to get where she is going, sometimes going out of her way to do so. She isn't one bit interested in any of my needlework.

The next fellow isn't a fur baby, but a feathered one.  This is Ike.  He/she, is an Orange Wing Amazon parrot.
I have had him/her for over 30 years.  Ike is my company when I am at the computer.  Ike is a very friendly
and loving bird.  Ike use to yell a lot but has settled down and is quiet.  He/she, loves to climb all over me and play with my hair.  Loves to be petted and have her feathers played with.  She thinks that she should be eating everything that I eat.  The cats leave her alone, which is a surprise to me, but she can take care of herself if they should ever decide to get brave.

That is all the pets that I have in my home right now.  I lost my dog three years ago and I have been looking for one to take her place, but it is hard to decide what to adopt when there are so many out there that need homes.

That is it for today.